Protecting others? would you or not?

This is a discussion on Protecting others? would you or not? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This has been on my mind for a while, long before I got my CCW permit. Naturally I'd shoot someone if I had to protect ...

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Thread: Protecting others? would you or not?

  1. #1
    Member Array jednp's Avatar
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    Protecting others? would you or not?

    This has been on my mind for a while, long before I got my CCW permit. Naturally I'd shoot someone if I had to protect my girlfriend, or other family member. I wouldn't want to do it, but I would if I was forced to and had no other way out.

    But what about strangers? Don't get me wrong, I don't want a stranger to be hurt by someone. But I find myself wondering, is it my problem? Aren't they capable of getting a gun themself and carrying for protection just like I do? Sometimes I wonder if I were to come upon a situation.. if I shouldn't just worry about me and my own.. and try my best to not feel guilty for doing that if someone else got hurt.

    My reasoning for this is lawsuits. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a state that protects you from civil lawsuits due to justified shootings, which I'm not. As we all know, shooting someone can mean big trouble. How much trouble are you going to get in potentially, and how much should you risk that trouble to help others? Do I really want to risk losing everything I own, because someone else chose to not have a way to defend theirself?

    I don't know how to answer my own questions here. I don't ever want to shoot anyone, not even someone who deserves it. If it's to protect myself or my family, or my friends, then I'm going to just have to do it and deal with whatever comes. But I just don't know if I could risk losing everything for some stranger. It's not that I don't want to help them. I really do want to help people. But in today's sue happy world you just risk a lot.

    I suppose it would all just come down to the situation. Witnesses that are calling out for someone to stop this attacker, shoot him, etc. That might make it a bit easier, but I'd still be cautious. I carry so at the end of the day, if I ever meet death face to face out on the streets.. hopefully I return home that evening. I don't carry for others protection, that's not my priority. But it doesn't make me wrong for thinking that way does it? Would others risk their life, their freedom, or everything they own.. to help me? Would I expect them to? I don't know that I would. This has really made me think about having some sort of good less-lethal form of protection that I could carry along with my gun. Such as a taser maybe. As it is right now, my girlfriend when she's with me.. she carries pepper spray and I carry the gun. She could always carry the taser in her purse for me to use, should I ever have the time to think what I can do in a situation, then act if I choose to..

    I really don't know.. and at this point I'm rambling. I just don't know how I should feel about this situation. So hopefully others input will help me find an answer for myself. I don't ever want to feel the guilt of thinking I could have done something.. but didn't.. and I don't ever want to feel the pain of doing something, and losing everything because of it either.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array maclean3's Avatar
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    We had a lengthy discussion about this some time back and it seems the general consensus was, let the situation dictate your actions. The problem isn't so much a steadfast rule of whether or not to protect a stranger, it's the very likely probability that you've walked into the middle of a confrontation without knowing all the facts.

    Here's an example from that previous discussion as I recall it:
    You walk around a corner and see a man holding a gun hovering over lady on the ground in a threatening manner - what would you do? Okay now, the truth of this scenario is ... she attacked him from behind (robbery, mugging, psycho, whatever) and he was able to wrestle the gun from her, knocking her down in the process just before you turned the corner .... Did you just shoot him for no reason? A lot to consider, isn't it???
    Jack

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    Member Array SGeringer's Avatar
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    I could not live with myself allowing another to be injured or killed when I had the power to stop it.
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    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    What if it were someone who was drowning, because he didn't ever learn to swim? Would you extend a pole, or throw a line to him? Or let him drown because circumstances in his life had never brought him around to understand the value of learning to swim? (Yes, it seems obvious, but some people go a long time without ever learning something as basic as swimming.)

    I understand (and sympathize) with the indignation that gun people feel when they might have to defend those who abrogated their own responsibility to learn to (and to equip themselves to) do it for themselves.

    I have to wonder about the lawsuit thing, though. Fortunately (for this reason, anyway), I live in Florida, and ostensibly the law protects me from being sued if my shoot is justified.

    I have trouble imagining that a lawsuit against a justified shooter, even in a state without a "stand-your-ground" law, would get past summary judgment. Come on, when the cops' investigations say you shot in self-defense, and no D.A. is indicting you, how and why would a judge allow a wrongful death suit against you given the facts in your favor? You gotta put a little faith in the notion of the court having that much sanity. If not, well, why not put the gun to your own temple, 'cause things would be pretty dismal . . .

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    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    Depends.

    My fiirst duty is to my family. Anything that directly threatens them there is no question I would protect them.

    If your at a stop and rob and the BGs start shooting, yes I would.

    If your at a large mall and shooting starts, I would be heading for the exits.

    Everything else is a depends!
    MNBurl

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.

  7. #6
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    We have had this discussion before. Shooting in defense of someone else is far more complicated than trying to save a drowning man.

    E.g.
    What if the person you see shoot someone was another CCW that just shot a BG

    What if the person with the gun is a LEO undercover.

    What if your bullet kills the BG dead instantly and saves 10 innocent people, but a fragment of your bullet leaves the BG and hits a baby/child? There is no justification for that, even though it's an accident. You can and will be sued, your life as you know it is over.

    What if you kill the BG and his 'tailgunner' partner who looks just like another innocent party kills or maims you. Who's gonna provide for your family?

    Those 'innocent' people have the same right to defend themselves as you do and they choose to bury their heads in the sands of denial and ignorance so you need to decide what part you want to play in their personal defense that they will take no part in.

    It becomes a thing of personal conscience vs risking one's life, lifestyle, and family welfare to intervene for strangers.

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    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    I can say one thing for sure, if it's an apparent domestic violence situation, I'm going to call the cops and leave. That is something you definitely don't want to get in the middle of.
    ...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller

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    Senior Member Array jdsumner's Avatar
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    Welcome to being a 'test case' in the courts. If you dont have a program, how do you know who the players are?

    Dan

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    Member Array gotammo's Avatar
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    If you are willing to die, loss of family, loss of all your worldly goods (home ect.), loss of your job, leaving your family unprotected because your not around (jail or death) go right ahead.
    Me and mine get the full force of my protection, everyone else gets 911.
    My only exception would be the protection of a child.

  11. #10
    Member Array katmandoo122's Avatar
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    Too situational to answer properly. Offhand:

    A Child - Definitely
    A Woman - Probably
    A Terrorist Incident (AK47 in public type attack) - Yes

    Everything else, too tough to call.

  12. #11
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    Too many scenerio's to make a blanket call. My family and I come first. If I see a way out safely , I'm outa there.
    There was a case where a CCW holder shot and killed a man that was stabbing his girlfriend at a Walmart. I have to say, I dont think I could stand by and watch that happen knowing I could save her life. Not knowing for sure who the BG is could be a tragedy and ruin your life, but as for the guy stabbing the girl , there is no mistake..

  13. #12
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    I'll be boring yet again and repeat my mantra - because IMO nothing makes this a totally simple decision - and it's an old cherry for discussion too with various opinions and viewpoints.

    ''Play it as you see it''.
    Chris - P95
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  14. #13
    Member Array jednp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNBurl View Post
    Depends.

    My fiirst duty is to my family. Anything that directly threatens them there is no question I would protect them.

    If your at a stop and rob and the BGs start shooting, yes I would.

    If your at a large mall and shooting starts, I would be heading for the exits.

    Everything else is a depends!
    that is more of the type of situation I'm thinking about. And more when I feel like, hey I gotta protect my own here.

    And also about the lawsuits. I live in a city with a pretty nasty city prosecutor. I was told by someone at the police station to contact him regarding my question to open carry in the vehicle. T hey said he would be able to explain the legal issues with it, as they weren't allowed to give that info to someone. He started off by saying first of all I'm going to prosecute you, just in a nasty way.. saying that's his job. So he's not about to give me any definition of their law. He's pretty anti-gun, and so is the mayor. So are the police to a certain extent.

    That's why I worry about defending others. At what cost is it going to come to me? Sure, I save some families husband/dad so he can come home that night. But what is it going to cost me? it may be a clear cut self defense shooting, but do not think that a civil suit can't follow. People can sue you for anything, and the right attorney/judge combo can easily work against you.. when it otherwise shouldn't.

    With judges and attorneys I view it as anything that can happen, will happen. Johnny was a good kid, he was going to turn his life around next week and start going to church.. why did you have to shoot him? Now you owe his family money for his loss.

  15. #14
    Member Array General Geoff's Avatar
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    Gotta call 'em like you see 'em. You can't make a blanket resolution to "intervene to save a stranger's life," because there are endless different scenarios. Even the same scenario will have a different outcome depending on your position and level of readiness at the time of the occurance.

    It all comes down to how much risk you're willing to take. If a guy 50 feet away opens up with an uzi in a populated mall, mowing people down, would you take the shot knowing that there's a good chance you'll hit an innocent bystander? What if he's hopped up on PCP and when you score a hit, he then comes after you?

    Too many variables for a simple answer.



    edit; Don't worry about the legal repercussions too much if a tragedy like this occurs while you're present. In a very public mass shooting, I don't think there's a jury in the United States that would convict you for taking down a terroristic gunman.
    Last edited by General Geoff; February 6th, 2007 at 12:21 PM.
    Discretion is the better part of valour; and a virtue beyond reproach.
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  16. #15
    Member Array jednp's Avatar
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    Overall, even though the replies have been somewhat varried it seems that most are just going to protect their own, needing it to be an extraordinary situation typically to protect others.

    Quite possibly the person you save, might very well be anti-gun and anti-death penalty. Sure they may be thankful they are alive, but wondering why did you have to kill that guy? couldn't you have just pushed him off of me? I don't count on any stranger to defend me in court. And I sure wouldn't count on anyone being a good witness for my defense. Some people are just against guns at all costs, and view someone carrying one as a bad person.

    99.999% of the situations just aren't worth risking all you have for when it comes to protecting others. my priority is to me and my family should I ever have one some day. I just know that I am not itching to get into a situation where I have to even consider shooting someone. First signs of trouble I'm headin for exits if I can safely do so and I'm not lookin back.

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